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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

Tribeca kicks off to a relaxing, Downtown kind of start

Wednesday was the first day of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, although calling it the “first day” is a bit of a stretch. It was kinda like the first day of school, when you get your class assignments and teachers hand out books and explain what will be expected of you over the year and there’s no actual work to do, just a lot of running around trying to get paperwork corrected and running into people you haven’t seen in a while, and there’s no homework yet.

There was an opening night event on Wednesday — a series of short films about global warming, the whole shebang hosted by Al Gore — but I am nowhere near cool enough or important enough to be hanging out with the popular kids at stuff like that.
My Wednesday festival? Hanging out in the press office and waiting to talk to someone about actually getting my hands on press credentials. Collecting gobs of schedules and lists of publicists. Finding some place to sit down and get my head around it all and sketch out a plan of attack.

My plan is this: I’ll see somewhere between 15 and 18 films over the course of the festival, which for press actually only runs for a week; press screenings begin today, Thursday, and end next Thursday. When I look at it in the context of the entire festival — 157 feature-length films will screen in total — that doesn’t sound like much: only 10 percent? When I look at it in the context of how little sleep I’m gonna get over the next week, it sounds like too much entirely even for a movie lover. We’ll see.

Anyway, look for me to be talking about two or three films per day starting tomorrow, Friday, and running through next Friday. Though if I suffer a psychotic break from sleep deprivation that schedule may fall off a bit toward the end.

Oh, and I bought a hat. It’s nice. It sports, perhaps unexpectedly, the festival logo stitched on it in a nice blue thread. It kept my head dry when it began to drizzle after I left the box office where I’d picked up my press badge. And it will also be useful for pretending that that mugshot-style picture on the press badge isn’t me. Remember that police snap of Nick Nolte after he was arrested? Yeah, it’s that bad.

And I’m off to screenings…

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